Currently one of Bollywood's hottest properties, Abhishek Bachchan is the son of legendary Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan. The 29-year-old made his screen debut in 2000 in JP Dutta's Indo-Pak drama Refugee. Although his performance garnered great praise the film met with a lukewarm response at the box office. A string of flop films followed until 2004 when a leading role in the cop and robbers blockbuster Dhoom gave him his first big hit. Since then the young actor has gone on to play a range of serious, romantic and comedy roles in films like Sarkar, Bunty Aur Babli, Salaam Namaste and Dus. His latest release is Bluffmaster!, a comedy caper inspired by Argentinean film Nine Queens.
Are you looking forward to the release of Bluffmaster!?
Of course, I look forward to every release. It's a fun film and the fact that a close friend, Rohan Sippy, has directed it makes it even more important and enjoyable.
You share a special bond with Rohan Sippy. Is it because his father directed your father Amitabh Bachchan in the cult 70s curry western Sholay?
The Sippys are family for us. Rohan and I go back a long way. He is my childhood friend. We understand each other. I would go out of my way to do anything for him and vice versa. I was in his first film and there's no way I wouldn't be in his second.
Tell us more about Bluffmaster!
It's a contemporary, refreshing and fun film meant for all age groups. It's about a con man, his life and relationships. I'd call it a comedy full of surprises. You don't know what to expect next. It keeps you guessing and that is among its strong points.
Your character, Roy Kapoor, is a con man blessed with the gift of the gab...
Yeah, Roy is a good talker and knows how to find his way out of any untoward situation. Isn't that a formidable trait to have? The character has been very interestingly written and etched. It is quite complex as well. It's the first of a kind for me.
This is your first film with ex-Miss World turned actress Priyanka Chopra. What was the experience like?
She is a very talented girl and great fun to have on the sets. She plays Simi Ahuja, Roy's girlfriend who provides the calming factor in his life. She makes him want to become a better man and return to doing the right things in life.
The music of Bluffmaster! is doing well in India and the UK. Tell us about your tribute to comic Mehmood in the popular Sabse Bada Rupaiya song?
Undoubtedly, Mehmood-uncle was a brilliant actor. When we were thinking of a title track for the film, Rohan suggested Sabse Bada Rupaiya (Money Is The Biggest). I readily agreed, also because the song has a relation to the overall subject of the film.
You've worked with your father in a number of films now. What is it like?
I am stunned and speechless. I tend to freeze or fumble before him. Watching him work is a revelation in itself.
You went through a bad patch in your career and things are obviously looking up for you now. How good does that feel?
When things weren't too hunky dory some time back, I was compelled to pause, reflect and ask myself if I was in the right job. Today things are different. I don't feel as nervous and intense as I used to. I'd like to believe that I've come a long way, proven a lot and signed up some interesting projects with a broad spectrum of directors. Yet there are always times when I question what I am doing and myself!
Bluffmaster! is released in UK cinemas on Friday 16th December 2005.